Saturday, May 18Food Security Matters

Barred Plymouth Rock History, Characteristics, and Profile

Barred Rock, Plymouth Rock, or Barred Plymouth Rock (BPR or PBR chicken) is one of the most popular chicken breeds raised by Filipino heritage chicken breeders. It is only second to Rhode Island Red in terms of popularity and one of the widely available American heritage chicken breeds in the country although most are not truly pure breeds.

Barred Rock Origin

Plymouth Rock was developed in America in the middle of the 19th century and was first exhibited as a breed in 1869. Several individuals claimed its invention, using crosses of Dominique, Java, Cochin, and Brahma. The first Plymouth Rock was barred and other varieties developed later.

The Breed became popular very rapidly, and, until World War II, no breed was ever kept and bred as extensively as the Barred Plymouth Rock. Its popularity came from its qualities as an outstanding farm chicken: hardiness, docility, broodiness, and excellent production of both eggs and meat.

barred-plymouth-rock
barred Rock hen

Most of the other varieties were developed from crosses containing some of the same ancestral backgrounds as the barred variety. Early in its development, the name Plymouth Rock implied a barred bird, but as more varieties were developed, it became the designation for the breed. The Barred Plymouth Rock was one of the foundation breeds for the broiler industry in the 1920s.

Barred Plymouth Rock Characteristics

Plymouth Rocks are good general farm chicken. They are docile while showing some broodiness. They possess a long, broad back and moderately deep, full breasts. They have a single comb of moderate size. Some strains are good layers while others are bred principally for meat. They usually make good mothers. Their feathers are fairly loosely held but not so long as to easily tangle. Generally, Plymouth Rocks are not extremely aggressive and tame quite easily. Some males and hens are big and active enough to be quite a problem if they become aggressive. Breeders should be aware of the standard weights and not select small or narrow birds for the breeding pen. Common faults include shallow breasts, high tails, narrow bodies, and small sizes.

Standard Weights: Cock: 9 ½ lbs; Hen: 7 ½ lbs; Cockerel: 8 lbs; Pullet: 6 lbs.

Modern Homesteading

With the growing trend of keeping chickens personally at home or on a homestead, the Plymouth Rock chickens have found a renewed level of demand. The Barred Plymouth Rock is the most popular color variety of the Plymouth, having beautiful plumage of black and gray bars on each feather.

These chickens are suitable for beginners and for those who are raising chickens on a family homestead. Their laid-back nature and general lack of noise make them a gentle “break-in” breed as you begin a flock.

Temperament and  Behavior of Barred Rock

Plymouth Rock’s personality is one of its most winning characteristics beyond its high-quality, dual-purpose production. These naturally curious creatures can quickly become your feathered friends.

The Plymouth Rock chicken is one of the most docile chicken breeds to raise. With a bit of patience, they rarely get flighty around humans, particularly those they recognize.

They are a good choice for adults beginning to keep chickens and the kids of a family since they perform well around all ages.

Overall, although they are still active chickens, they have sweet, docile personalities. They have been known to become lap chickens, follow their keepers around, and enjoy getting stroked and attention from you.

Plymouth Rock hens are quite likely to go broody. They aren’t known for their exceptional broodiness, but their tendency is toward it.

If they go broody, they are great mothers, and you won’t have to worry about the chicks’ well-being. Otherwise, you can always use an incubator.

These docile and loving chickens tend to prefer being kept in smaller flocks. The noises they make often sound closer to a “coo” than the louder clucking common in other breeds, such as the Minorca chicken.

It is easy to keep a Barred Plymouth Rock chicken in a smaller area or a legalized neighborhood without causing a stir.

These chickens are not known for picking fights with other birds in their flock, even different breeds. They are assuredly lovers, not fighters.

Overall, Plymouth Rocks are considered a pleasure to own since they enjoy much more human interaction than other breeds and tend to get along with other chickens in their flock. Even roosters are known for their relatively docile nature.

Where to Buy Barred Plymouth Rock in the Philippines?

If you are in the Philippines and are planning to raise BPR, join Facebook groups of heritage chicken breeders. you can find a lot of other members selling Barred Plymouth Rock chicks, breeders, and even fertilized hatching eggs.

Common Questions About Barred Rock Chickens

What is the difference between Barred Rock and Plymouth Rock?

Are Barred Rock and Plymouth Rock chickens the same? Yes. The Barred Rock is simply a color variety of Plymouth Rock chickens. There are currently seven color varieties, but the Barred Rock Plymouth is the most popular.

What are the characteristics of Barred Plymouth Rock?

They possess a long, broad back; moderately deep, full breasts; and yellow skin and legs. The hens have a deep, full abdomen, which is a sign of a good layer. The face of a Plymouth Rock is red with red ear lobes, a bright yellow beak, bay-colored eyes, and a single comb of moderate size.

What color eggs do Barred Plymouth Rocks lay?

They lay a medium-sized, medium brown colored egg. From experience, our barred rock was by far the most docile and friendly of our standard-size chickens. This is a fairly common breed that is easy to find.

How many eggs does a Barred Plymouth Rock lay a year?

These hardy birds are docile, friendly, and can tolerate cold temperatures. The Barred Rocks can lay up to 250 large brown eggs a year.

Are Plymouth Rocks rare?

There are multiple varieties of Plymouth Rock chickens. The original and most common is the Barred Plymouth Rock (also known as the Barred Rock). The White Plymouth Rock is also common. All other varieties are rare.

What are Barred Rocks good for?

Premiering in New England in the mid-1800s, the dual-purpose use of the Barred Rock as both a meat and egg provider made it an instant hit with homesteaders. For many years it was the most commonly bred type of chicken in the United States.

Can you eat Plymouth Rock chickens?

Plymouth Rock chickens are dual-purpose chickens, making them suitable for both meat and egg production. The characteristics that make an egg-laying breed like the Leghorn so efficient include its smaller body size and lighter frame.

Are Barred Rock good laying hens?

The Barred Rock is a layer of an ample amount of light brown medium-large eggs. She will lay in the region of 4 eggs per week or 200+ per year. The production strains will lay well for the first couple of years then the output will start to decline.

Can Barred Rock chickens fly?

The Plymouth Rock Barred Rock is a Heritage Breed and although not a strong flier compared to most birds, is capable of limited flight (especially younger, lighter birds).

At what age do Barred Rock hens start laying?

Most non-hybrids start laying at 5 to 7 months of age. These include New Hampshire Reds, Black Australorps, Buff Orpingtons, Barred Rocks, Wyandottes, and many of our other breeds.

Are Plymouth Rock chickens loud?

Plymouth Rock chickens are not particularly noisy. Some do like to talk, but not much more than other breeds. Of course, when it’s egg-laying time, any hen can be noisy.

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